Posted on: December 22, 2009 5:20 pm

The Rich Keep Getting Richer

Yet again the Yankees have made another move to continue their effort to create the best baseball team that has ever touched the earth. They aquired Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan for Melky Cabrera and 2 good prospects. I wonder if the yankees managment watches the MLB Network, because just the other day they were talking about how the Yankees had succeded last year in the playoffs with a 3 man rotation and that they need to improve that. Now they have gotten anothter great arm that can help them in the postseason. The loss of prospects dosnt hurt the Yankees since they just but everything, and Melky was an average player anyways. The only questionable spot on that Yankees roster now is outfield depth/LF. I guess they are going to play Gardner in LF, although im wondering if they get someone else to play LF. But they are going to be hurting if Swisher, or Granderson gets hurt. But now they have one of the most dominant rotations in all of baseball, so i guess its okay. It had become obvious in recent days that the Yankees were going to aquire another pitcher, i had heard they inquired about Carlos Zambrano from the Cubs but they did not like what the Cubs asked for in return. Which is hard to argue with, Zambrano is still only 28, he has always had a ton of talent, and he is a firey leader. But i can not imagine the asking price for Z being more than Vazquez. Anyways the Yankees just added another All-Star to their roster that already includes the likes of Mark Teixera, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera, how many good players can they get. 
Posted on: December 9, 2009 9:36 pm

Brewers Making Moves

The Brewers made 2 pretty big moves today in aquiring lefty starter Randy Wolf and reliever LaTroy Hawkins today. They bolsterd an area that they had a huge need for, and should help them to contend in an interesting NL Central. I have always liked Randy Wolf, he may not be a great pitcher but he has always been effective. He is coming off of his second best season of his career concerning ERA. He seems to be fully healthy and can provide solid innings (214 last season). He will slot in as the number 2 rotation spot in Milwaukee and should prove the be a significant upgrade from Jeff Suppan. His numbers may go up because Miller Park is a little more hitter friendly, but he should still provide solid innings for the Brewers. He is probably more of a middle of the rotation fuy, but he might be okay as the Brewers number 2. They probably need another starter to really be able to contend, now that Harden is off the board (Texas Rangers) they could bring back Ben Sheets, or they could sign a Vicente Padilla which is probably more likely. The Brewers may have overpayed a little for Wolf but they should still be happy from what they get out of him.
The LaTroy Hawkins deal was the other big move the Brewers made today. He gives them a nice setup option to help out Trevor Hoffman. Also he provides insurrance in case Hoffman gets injured he could close if needed. The only thing i worry about with Hawkins is that he was just playing for a good contract last season. But even at his worst i still value Hawkins higher than most if not all of the Brewers current relievers. I like this move especially with the news that Mark DeFilice is going to be out for the season next year. Again like the rotation they need some more arms to make this a good bullpen, but this move will help them bridge that gap to the 9th inning. The Brewers are making some smart moves, and if they continue to improve their pitching they could win this division considering the offensive weapons they have.

Posted on: December 8, 2009 3:48 pm

MLB Trade Updates

If you have been keeping up with this weeks winter meetings you should have heard about the blockbuster trade of the meetings that has occured. The Yankees aquire Curtis Granderson, the Diamondbacks get Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy, and the Tigers get Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson and prospects (I think the D-Backs got some prospects to). The Yankees probably win this trade just because they were in the best shape and improved a minor hole that they had. The Tigers also got a really good deal in my mind, i have always been a fan of Max Scherzer he has great strikout potential and could fit in solidly at number 2. Austin Jackson looks to be a good center field option, but he is a prospect and will have to prove his worth (but the Yankees thought very highly of him). I think the worst part of the deal for Tigers is that they lost such a great clubhouse presense and has such great offensive and deffensive skills. The Diamondbacks seem like they got the short end of the stick, Edwin Jackson has bounced around a lot which can mean questiable character, he wont be under team control as long as Scherzer. He is streaky but when he's on he can be as good if not better than Scherzer. Ian Kennedy can fill that 5th rotation spot or help in the bullpen, but i have never been to crazy on Kennedy just based on what ive seen of him. This trade was a good way to get the winter meetings moving, there had been a lot of talk and finally we got a big trade to talk about. The thing that makes me interested about this trade is what is going to happen to Melky Cabrera. I've heard he could be packaged in a deal for Halladay, or the Cubs may be able to go after him. Im not sure who the Cubs send over there for Cabrera, but that could be extremley benifital to the Cubs. They are in dire need of a Center fielder and he is cheap and young. That is the most important thing the Cubs need to focus on as they move forward, bringing in young players who you can keep around for a while. But as i said before i think the Yankees won this trade with the Tigers gettign a good return and the diamondbacks lossed a little bit.
Posted on: December 6, 2009 1:14 pm

Chone Figgins and the Mariners

As you may have heard the Seattle Mariners recently aquired Chone Figgins via free agency. At the end of the season i made a list of my top 10 free agents (i did not post it though) and Chone Figgins was number 2 on my list. I know that many people may disagree with me on that, but i think Figgins is more valuable than Jason Bay or John Lackey. He may not have the power needed for third base, but he plays exceptional defense, he gets on base, and is a good baserunner. Plus he is significantly cheaper than any of the other top 4 free agents. I am really begining to think that the Marniers may win the West this year, they improved last year by making some solid moves with limited payroll flexability. Now they have around $50 mill freed up, they just spent some on Figgins but if they can grab a pitcher and a power hitter they will be in good shape to contend for the AL West crown. Just take a look at their 2010 team thus far.

C- Rob Johnson
1B- Mike Carp
2B- Jose Lopez
SS- Jack Wilson
3B- Chone Figgins
LF- Michael Saunders
CF- Franklin Gutierrez
RF- Ichiro Suzuki
DH- Ken Griffey Jr.

1. Felix Hernandez
2. Ryan Rowland Smith
3. Jason Vargas
4. Brandon Morrow
5. Ian Snell

CL- David Aardsma

Felix Hernandez has finally become an ace and can be depended on to carry a rotation, and the rest of the rotation has potential. But i think they neeed to add a reliable pitcher. I have heard they are interested in Harden, he could work although he is injury prone. John Lackey has been mentioned and that might almost be the best, but he will be expensive. I really am waiting for Ian Snell to bust out, he needs to limit the walks, but he was better in Seattle. Like I said, they are just missing that number 2 pitcher.

Offensivly they need to bring back Branyan as their cleanup hitter, and they need to upgrade at LF. I have heard Jason Bay thrown around, and that could be a good move, but again he is going to be expensive. I think Jason Bay is more realistic than John Lackey. My guess is that if they are going to get a pitcher it will be some one like Rich Harden, and if they are going to get a bat it will be someone like Jason Bay. But really their focus should be on bringing back Russell Branyan. They have the top of the lineup secure they just need to get that middle of the lineup figured out. The Mariners are starting to get back to winning and in a few years they should take the place of the Angels as the class of the division. Although i do not think the Angels will ever go away and the Rangers will always be in the mix, so this should make for a competitive couple of years in the AL West.
Posted on: December 5, 2009 2:03 pm

The Perfect Small Market Team (GM/Manager)

Well i have sat around for a while thinking about who is the best GM in baseball. I looked over trades and free agent signings and im not sure there is a #1 GM at everything. But i do think there are several GM's that do well in there market size. But for our small payroll, i think i will go with Billy Bean (Oakland Athletics). There are not many GM's who are better with a small market team. I realize the A's have not been great the past few years, but they always seem to have minor league talent. I also loved the move of aquiring matt holliday, then trading him at the deadline to peak his value and gain a better return then what they gave up. Bean just seems the obvious choice to run my small market team that im creating here. I know that he can make the right trades and free agent signings the keep my team competitive year in and year out. Now the next position i have to fill is my Manager. First i have to figure out is my team AL or NL, since im not as knowledgable about the AL i'll make my team an NL team. So now i have to think who is the manager who has the National League game figured out the most. I hate to say this because im a Cubs fan, but i think Tony La Russa (St. Louis Cardinals) is the best option. He always seems to get the most out of the least talent. That will wrap up todays team decisons with the hiring of Billy Bean as the GM and Tony La Russa as our Manager.
Posted on: November 23, 2009 7:04 pm

The Cubs Farm System

Today i was at Borders and happened to see that Starlin Castro was on the cover of Baseball America this week, so i decided to buy it. After reading through it and based on what i have been hearing over the past few weeks i am really begining to feel confident about our farm system. Im wondering if the Cubs should just be patiient this year and wait for there talent to develop. Here is a little overview of their system and what i think they need to do.

First of all we need to make a list of prospects that are "Untradeable" which i think should include

1. Starlin Castro
2. Brett Jackson
3. Andrew Cashner
4. Jay Jackson
5. Chris Carpenter (Not the Cardinals version)
6. Josh Vitters

Those are the prospects that the Cubs need to hang on to for sure. They also need to continue to draft the way they have been so we have a continual base of players to call up for a long time. Im confident that they will continue this trend because the Ricketts family mentioned that they wanted to follow the Boston mold. I think Castro is probably the best prospect to come out of the Cubs farm system in a long time and he could make an impact at the end of this 2010 year. This will make Theriot expendable at the end of this coming up season similar to Alcides Escobar replacing J.J. Hardy in Milwaukee. And i think that is really the path the Cubs need to follow, develop young talent and trade away the mediocre and old veterans for quality players. Brett Jackson is my favorite prospect in the Cubs system and when he gets to the majors probably will become my favorite player. He is rated as the Cubs best power prospect and is rated as the most athletic prospect by Baseball America. He has the ability to play center well, he may strikeout a lot but he should be able to hit for power and steal bags. Maybe he will become a left handed version of Mike Cameron. He may be a year or two away but should eventualy provide stability at what has been a shakey position for the Cubs for a long time.
Andrew Cashner draws a lot of comparisons to Kerry Wood and may make the change for starter to releiver but will be given the chance to start in the minors. He pitched well in Advanced-A and AA, and may start the year in AAA. He has a good fastball and slider (again similar to Kerry Wood). I hope he becomes a starter and hopefully Cubs fans can see him in september in 2010. Jay Jackson may end up being better than Cashner although not as highly touted. He has a good arsenal of pitches and made it up to AAA at the end of the year, he is less of an injury risk than Cashner and has the chance to become a solid MLB starter. Who knew there were 2 Chris Carpenters in the majors let alone the same division. Another AA starter who is about a year away from the Majors but also looks to become a very good starter. He is a well built starter and has some nice breaking pitches, but has some command problems. Just think in a few years these 3 pitchers could be the core of the Cubs rotation.
And i cant talk about the Cubs farm system without talking about Josh Vitters the Cubs hearalded prospect, he has so much natural baseball talent. He did struggle in Advanced A but he is only 19 years old and by the time he is 23 he'll be in the majors. He projects to be a .300-30-100 guy so we can give him some time to develop.Although his main positions are blocked by starters in long term contracts, (3B- Aram, LF- Soriano) so i wonder if they'll give him a shot at first. My guess is this is Lee's last year with the Cubs unless he is going to stay for less money in 2011. So why not keep Fox at first until Vitters comes up and let him take over. Even if the Cubs struggle in 2010 (which is still the same team as 2008 for the most part) the future looks bright, here is my projected future Cubs team.

C- Geovany Soto
1B- Josh Vitters
2B- Starlin Castro
SS- Hak-JU Lee
3B- Aramis Ramirez
LF- Alfonso Soriano
CF- Brett Jackson
RF- Tyler Colvin


1. Carlos Zambrano
2. Jay Jackson
3. Andrew Cashner
4. Randy Wells
5. Chris Carpenter

CL- Carlos Marmol
SU- Esmalin Caridad
SU- Angel Guzman
Posted on: November 21, 2009 8:02 pm

The Perfect Small Market Team

I was reading Ken Berger's article about assembling his perfect NBA team. Which gave me the idea to try and do something equally as challenging. Assemble the perfect small market team, with a Payroll of $70 mill, which would cover the 40 man rosters player salaries. I will also pick the best GM, Manager and bench coaches to go along with the team. Before i post my choice for G.M. i would like to hear who you think is the best and why, please post that below. Obviously Billy Beane is one of the GM's  i am considering, but i want to take a look at every GM in Major League Baseball and find the perfect one.
Posted on: November 16, 2009 8:34 pm

Curtis Granderson Anyone?

If you follow baseball at all during the offseason you should know by now that the Tigers are hinting that they will shop Curtis Granderson this offseason along with pitcher Edwin Jackson. Of course the Cubs have come out as the leading contendors for a Granderson trade, so i wanted to take a look at Granderson's value and look at who the Cubs might have to give up to aquire him.
Before we even get started i want to look at his career stat line, .272/.344/.484. Thats way above average for a center fielder, plus the fact that he stole 66 bases over the past 4 years. He is a 30/30 threat with a mediocre batting average. Acording to Granderson was worth $15.2 mill last season, and over the last 4 years he hasnt been valued at less than 14 mill. His fielding is average, but he is a very durable player, since 06' he hasnt accumulated less than 553 AB in a season. Now last season he had a bit of a down year at the plate hitting a .249/.327/.453 stat line. So his value dipped a little last season, which may make it easier for the Cubs to get him although it will take a lot. That is the big question, who will the Tigers want in return for Granderson, some have mentioned Starlin Castro as the center piece for the trade. But i highly doubt that, as i am pretty sure Hendry has placed him under the untradable category. I wouldnt be suprised to see Josh Vitters included in the trade, possibly Andrew Cashner, Jake Fox, or Micah Hoffpauirr. The Tigers are most likely looking for pieces to replace players like Magglio Ordonez, and Placido Polanco. Mike Fontenot could be a good fit, i guess if i had to make an offer for Granderson this is what i would propose.

Granderson+ 1 mediocre minor leaguer       for          Tyler Colvin, Jake Fox, Mike Fontenot, Jay Jackson

Now im sure there may be a better trade offer that the Tigers would want but i think this offer is equall to what Grandersons actual value is. Colvin played extremly well this season in AA Tennesse and will likely start the year in AAA or be on the Major League roster. His season 09 season was high lighted by a streak of 15 consecutive hits, i believe that set or tied a AA record (I might be wrong). Colvin projects to be a .270 avg 15+ HR guy. He plays average CF defense and could move to a corner spot and play very well. Jake Fox needs no introduction, he has proved to be the Cubs best bench player and should be starting somewhere although he has no real position. The American league would be perfect for him, he could DH, and play the corner positions on occasion. He has .260 AVG  20+ HR potential. He hit .259/.311/.468 in his rookie campaign and was hitting over .400 with 17 bombs in AAA before his call up. Mike Fontenot underachieved in 2009, but he still has the potential to be an above average second baseman. Part of his struggles came from having to fill in at 3rd for Aramis during his injury. Although he did play well defensivly even  with his struggles at the plate. Again he is another player who dosnt really have a spot in Chicago because Jeff Baker seems to have taken over at 2nd. Jay Jackson could be a PTBNL (Player to be named later) but he is an excellent starting pitching prospect. He posted solid numbers in Advanced-A and AA. He is probably 1 to 2 years from the majors but has excellent tools and could be a great starter. I think this would be a great haul for the Tigers and it wouldnt hurt the Cubs at any position really. They have another young CF coming up in Brett Jackson (their 09 draft pick). They have Andrew Cashner as another SP option and they would still hold on to their top 2 prospects in Starlin Castro and Josh Vitters. I think it still favours the Cubs but the Tigers would get immediate returns from Fox and Fontenot and possibly Colvin. I still highly doubt the Tigers are really even shopping Granderson, but its still fun to speculate.  
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